Speaking Animals in Ancient Literature



In the literature of Graeco-Roman antiquity, speaking animals are most prominent in fables, but in fact they are a genre-crossing phenomenon. Ancient traditions of animal speech continue to have an effect on European literature up to the present day and at the same time have parallels in other early civilizations like Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

In the 21 contributions of this interdisciplinary conference volume, international researchers from the fields of Classical Philology, Ancient History, Egyptology, Ancient Oriental Studies, Theology and Jewish Studies explore animal speech in ancient texts from the very beginnings to late antiquity, including their reception. Contexts relating to literary, intellectual, cultural and social history are considered as well as concepts of animality and humanity, building a bridge to the more recently established Human-Animal Studies.